There is a Japanese expression to describe an element of their eating culture; ' 旬 ' ( shun ) which means, ' the best time '. For those product you'd see labelled with a sticker and mention the word, it simply means that it is the best time to enjoy whatever packed within. =)
To produce the taste of ' best time ' ( 旬の味 ), simply use ingredients that are at their top form. In Spring, we are fortunate to enjoy good harvest for vegetables and certain seafood. Read on to find out how I tackle the Bamboo Shoot, fresh plump scallop and green beans. =D
This is the bamboo shoot ( 竹の子 ). I wonder if Bamboo Shoot is available in western areas, though these shoots are used in certain oriental dishes. The picture on the right shows how a bamboo shoot looks like when dug up from the ground. It looks like a rugged-skin hat to me... heheheh...
You know I really appreciate this thoughtful merchandise, else I wouldn't be able to enjoy this lovely root at home.
Bamboo shoot is a versatile ingredient that provides lots of cooking possibilities! They go with vegetables, seafood, meat, probably anything! To savor its flavor, I had it prepared for this Bamboo Shoot Rice, together with asparagus, fragrant mushroom, topped with the seaweed that we 've bought from the Wasabi farm.
Ingredients ( Makes 3 bowls but serves 2 hungry people at home )
Rice : 1 standard cup or 155g
Bamboo shoot : 120 g, cut to mouth-sized length and sliced at 2mm at least
Asaparagus : 3 stalks, sliced cross wise. Cooking asparagus with the rice retains the nuitrients within the serving, so no wastage here. To understand what I'm trying to stress, read here.
Carrot : 1/2 stalk, sliced into thin strips
Mushroom : I'm using 2 quality dried ' Shiitake ', sliced at 4mm thickness
Seaweed : Strips of seaweed for topping, cut from bite-size ones if you need to.
Stock : 300ml. I'm using stock of konnbu ( 昆布 ), one may find such stock powder in supermarket. You may like to replace with chicken stock or other stock you prefer. Read instruction below for explanation.
Japanese Rice Wine : 1 tablespoon
Mirin : 1 tablespoon
Soy sauce : 2 tablespoon
1. Prepare stock by boiling slightly more than 300ml or water with 1 teaspoon of stock powder of Konnbu. Put aside when ready.
2. Wash rice, and drain off water. In a fry pan, fry the washed rice to rid of moisture. This helps the rice absorb the flavor readily. Pan fry for about a minute and transfer to rice cooker. Spread out the rice.
3. Pour in stock, rice wine, mirin and soy sauce, stir. Place in bamboo shoot, mushroom, carrot and asparagus, and just let the cooker do its job! Easy isn't it??
4. Slightly before serving, prepare the seaweed strips. For those who have no access to stripped seaweeds, use a sisscors to cut those standard seaweed pieces to strips. =)
Isn't this done so easily? That's why I label dishes like this under ' One Pot HAPPY '. =)
Recipe for Baked Scallop with Fragrant Crumb
While waiting for the rice to be cooked, I prepared some side dishes to go along. Scallops are so fleshy and fresh now! The market selling this was proposing customers to eat it raw! Oh but I decided to bake it the way I prefer.
I apply this to almost anything goes cos it's so easy, no mess and absolutely delicious! The crispy fragrant crumb outside seals the juicy scallop within, perfectly combined! This is definitely a favourite of our home. Try it!
Ingredients ( Prepares 2 large scallops with shell intact )
2 large scallops
Bread crumb : 3 heaping tablespoon. Not too flaky please, crush a little with spoon if you must.
Garlic : Grated, 1 teaspoon
Grated Parmesan Cheeze : 1 tablespoon
Olive oil : 2 tablespoon
Minced herb : Use herb that you prefer, I've run out of herbs so I used dried Parsley.
1. Preheat oven at 180deg.
2.Wash your scallops! The seller claimed that these can be consumed straight away, but I've found hmm... unfriendly particles within. =(
3. In a bowl, place in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, grated garlic, and cheeze, do a quick mix. Add in bread crumb, mix to let the bread crumb absorb the olive oil. Then, add in another tablespoon of olive oil across and perform thorough mixing. The idea is to wet the bread crumb with olive oil.
4. If the bread crumb isn't uniformly moistened, add another 1 teaspoon of olive oil to help.
5. Spread the moistened crumb across the scallops, covering them like a blanket. Sprinkle your favourite herbs on top. Bake at 180 deg for 15 mins, or watch your stuff to see the bread crumbs have turned into delicious looking gold.
To an average Singaporean, things in Japan are considered expensive. While green beans like these are dirt cheap in Singapore, it is unbelievably expensive here. With the price of getting barely a handful of it in Japan, one can get 9 times the volume in Singapore.
To prepare it simple, just fry some onion slices with sesame oil till fragrant. Add the green beans to fry, season with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, or 1 good pinch of salt. Complete with topping of sesame seeds.